When it comes to planning for the future of your organization, it's essential to understand the distinction between strategic and operational planning. Strategic planning is a process that helps you determine your company's long-term vision and how all departments must work together to achieve it. On the other hand, operational planning is a process that takes place at the functional level and helps you determine how the work will be done. To better comprehend the difference between strategic and operational planning, imagine them as two key ingredients for a successful road trip.
Your strategic plan is like a road map that helps you decide your destination and choose the right route to get there. You know what states you'll cross, what route you'll take, and how long it'll take to get there. The purpose of your strategic plan is to describe the company's long-term vision and how all departments must work together to achieve it. By skipping strategic planning and moving directly to an operational plan, you're hurting the future of your organization.
Operational planning is carried out by mid-level management and helps you determine how the work will be done. It should translate into more sales opportunities and, ultimately, more revenue for the organization (which could be the objectives of your strategic plan). When you report on your strategic plan (usually on an annual or quarterly basis), the strategic planning committee or executive team will want to analyze your company's performance in relation to the measures you've chosen. Your organization can implement a Strat-Ex budget that aligns part of your budget directly with your strategic projects or initiatives. This will help ensure that your strategic plan is fairly weatherproof, but that doesn't mean it doesn't require modifications from time to time. Based on that strategic plan, each department of the company will have to develop an operational plan for the projects for which it is responsible in order to determine how the work will be done.
You'll learn to communicate with empathy, practice mindfulness, and get the best possible results from a strategy and its implementation. In conclusion, understanding the difference between strategic and operational planning is essential for any organization looking to achieve its long-term goals. Strategic planning must always come before operational planning in order for an organization to be successful.